How to Prevent an Abscess

An abscess is a swollen bump that shows up beneath your skin’s surface. Abscesses occur when a skin injury or hair follicle becomes infected and a pocket of pus forms.

An abscess isn’t usually a cause for concern, but it can be painful and the infection can spread. If you’re dealing with an uncomfortable abscess, you’re probably wondering what you can do to prevent them.

Our team of experts at Smart Clinic Urgent Care offers these effective tips that can help you prevent and minimize your risk of abscesses.

What causes an abscess?

If you have an abscess, it’s likely the result of staphylococcus bacteria infecting a skin wound or injury. 

Bacteria can also infect your hair follicles. An ingrown hair is a hair that’s trapped under your skin. This can result in bacteria infecting your hair follicle, causing an abscess.

Although infection is the key cause of an abscess, the abscess itself actually forms because of your immune system.

Once bacterial invaders are detected, your immune system dispatches a battalion of white blood cells to fight the bacteria. As this occurs, some of the surrounding tissue dies. A small pocket forms, creating the perfect spot for pus to form an abscess. The pus consists of white blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria.

How to prevent an abscess

In most cases, abscesses don’t cause any complications. However, they can be painful, itchy, and unsightly. While you can’t always prevent an abscess, the following tips can help lower your risk of developing one.

Keep your skin healthy and clean

One of the best ways you can prevent an abscess is to take care of your skin. A skin abscess occurs when an infection takes place in your hair follicle, skin injury, or a blocked oil or sweat gland. 

You can keep your skin healthy by following these tips:

Another good practice is to avoid touching your face. This can transfer dirt, oil, and bacteria from your hands to your face.

Do not share personal items

Staphylococcus bacteria can rest on the skin and not cause infection. That’s why we recommend not sharing personal items like clothing, razors, and athletic equipment with others. Doing so greatly increases your risk of an abscess.

Be careful when shaving

Shaving is one of the main causes of ingrown hairs. It’s important to shave carefully, especially in the underarm area, as it’s the most common area for an abscess. Always use a clean razor that’s not dull to avoid nicks and cuts.

Treating an abscess

Abscesses usually go away on their own. However, if you have an abscess that’s not going away, is very large, or causes you great pain or a fever, contact us. 

Our team specializes in examining, testing, and treating abscesses with a variety of treatment options. Your abscess may need to be drained or you may need medications to fight the infection.

To learn more about abscesses and receive needed treatment, send us a message or call to schedule your appointment today. If you’re worried about a painful abscess, you can always walk into one of our urgent care locations in West Covina and Santa Clarita, California. Telehealth visits are also available.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Are Physicals Necessary?

If you feel healthy, you may wonder if it’s necessary to get a physical examination. But a regular physical provides you a wealth of information that helps you and your medical team make good choices for you and your family, both now and later.

See the Doctor From Your Own Home

COVID-19 has changed how we access health care. Thanks to telemedicine, patients now have an easier, safer way to see their doctors and get the care they need. Keep reading to learn more.

Give Your Immune System a Boost With a Myers' Cocktail

Having a strong immune system is critical for maintaining good health and well-being. And with COVID-19 sweeping the globe, a strong immune system is a must. Stay healthy and give your immune system the boost it needs with the Myers’ cocktail.

6 Common Causes of Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can be a mild inconvenience or it can have a significant impact on your well-being. Here are six common causes of abdominal pain to look out for.

Does Your Sore Throat Require Medical Care?

You have a sore throat, but you’re not sure why. Should you just eat a popsicle and drink some tea or should you head to an urgent care clinic? This question plagues many people. Read on to find out when a sore throat needs medical attention.

Top Warning Signs of a Respiratory Infection

If you’re experiencing headaches, coughing, and the chills, you probably have a respiratory infection. They usually resolve on their own, but can be life-threatening. Watch for these top warning signs of a respiratory infection.